Recently on show at Modern Art Oxford, It’s Me To The World, including work by Mohammed Qasim Ashfaq and Richard Long…
A polished graphite circle reflects from above a chalk-white linear labyrinth. Both SHIFT and Walking a Labyrinth are technically two-dimensional works and yet transcend the confines of 2-D. SHIFT by Mohammed Qasim Ashfaq, reflects light and appears to hover like an ethereal portal or UFO, perceptually breaking free from the white gallery wall upon which it has been created. The curation of SHIFT meanwhile references the body of work by Richard Long, since much of it is also circular. However, the rectilinear Walking a Labyrinth, recreated from the 1971 original, fills space that we are encouraged to interact with by walking its china-clay lines. The interaction thus elevates the labyrinth from 2-D to interactive performance art. Much can be read into the minimal juxta-geometry – balance between circular and linear form, sky and earth, etheric and matter – indeed ‘mindfulness’ is used by the gallery as a philosophical reference point in contrast to an increasingly technological world – this space is as close to Zen as I have encountered in any gallery. We can literally journey upon the labyrinth, while imagining a leap through the circular portal into a space-time bending wormhole. In our everyday life, we rely almost completely on perception as detected by our five senses, and have come to take for granted our three/four dimensional experience. Experiencing these two works together offers us a perceptual shift while engaging the imagination to consider new dimensions beyond the comfort blanket of our personal reality.
Walking a Labyrinth, Richard Long, White China Clay, 1971 (2016)
& SHIFT, Mohammed Qasim Ashfaq, Graphite, 2016